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PAT THOMAS and MICHAEL HEATH discuss their new book MY WEEK BEATS YOUR YEAR

My Week Beats Your Year: Encounters with Lou Reed (Hat & Beard Press)

During his first major sit-down with the music press in 1977, between claiming all his songs were about guilt and revenge, Elvis Costello casually remarked, “I don’t really listen to Lou Reed’s records, but I never miss an interview with him.”

Indeed, for all his publicly expressed loathing of the press in general and music journalists in particular, during his long career as a rock artist, Lou Reed was never less than entertaining in his dealings with the Fourth Estate. In fact, one could go so far as to claim that, for Lou, the press became as much an implement of expression as singing, composing, and playing music. In a style at times very much informed by his mentor Andy Warhol, Reed could play the media like a Marshall-amped Stradivarius.

To the majority of his fans, the apotheosis of Reed’s relationship with the press, and most prominently regarded to this day, was the series of combative tête-à-têtes between Lou and the late great music journalist Lester Bangs, published in CREEM Magazine during the 1970s.

My Week Beats Your Year: Encounters with Lou Reed features 30+ interviews spanning his solo career, from the golden era of print rock-journalism, to the first online blogs. The compilation is one fan’s humble attempt to move beyond the Bangs canon, and delve deeper into the distance and intimacy, cactus and mercury, that constituted Lou’s post-Velvet Underground public media image.

This anthology will be an intimate portrait of Reed who, in addition to being notoriously prickly (to put it mildly), was also intelligent, articulate, and deeply passionate about what was important to him, both as a person and as a creative artist.

Pat Thomas is the author of the book Did It! Jerry Rubin: An American Revolutionary an oral & visual history of the infamous Rubin – the first biography of the co-founder of the Yippies, Anti-Vietnam War radical, Chicago 8 defendant, and social-networking pioneer. Thomas is also the author of Listen, Whitey! The sights & sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 (which examines the relationship between the Black Panthers and music of all genres) and the co-curator of Invitation to Openness: The Jazz & Soul Photography of Les McCann 1960-1980 (all three published by Fantagraphics Books). He was a consultant to the PBS documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and  compiled the 3 CD box set The Last Word On First Blues for the Allen Ginsberg Estate, released by Omnivore Recordings.

Michael Heath is a music journalist, poet and musician. He has written for many international magazines and online music sites, including XLR8R, Maximum Rock And Roll, Shredding Paper, Tangents.co.uk, Perfect Sound Forever, Popmatters.com, New Noise and Record Collector News. He maintains two blogs: The San Francisco Nobody Sings (thesfnobodysings.blogspot.com), and The Groover's Grotto, at the website of fantasy novelist Tad Williams (tadwilliams.com). He has also written a number of poetry chapbooks published by Kendra Steiner Editions of San Antonio, Texas.

Event date: 
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027